My 3 year old bashed my 1 year old in the face...sigh...HELP! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-15-2002, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, that about says it all. ds (3 yrs) and dd (17 mos) were in dd's room yesterday afternoon, playing with toys, etc., and dh and I hear dd wail. We walk to her door to see ds saying, "It's okay Emma! Are you okay Emma?", and I ask what happened. He jumps up (he'd had his back to us), runs out of her room, stands in the hallway and says, "I kicked her on her back." DH takes him by the hand and leads him to his bedroom and says, "Why don't you cool off in your room." We take dd out to the kitchen because in the interim she did the HUGE silent breath in before screaming her head off, and she keeps touching her face. I can't see anything, DH can't see anything, nor can we find a mark on her back, and so we just figure it's one of those sibling things and ds got a little too hot and forgot to use his words (even though we've really been struggling with hitting and kicking lately). After a few minutes though, this black line appears on her face, next to her nose, and I bet her teeth REALLY hurt. DH and I go back into ds's room, and I say, "What did you hit Emma with?" He says, "The bucket", meaning a large nesting container. We tell him he's going to need to stay in his room for awhile and DH takes dd outside with the dog to get some fresh air. Meanwhile, I'm fuming because I can't believe ds is so vicious with her, and even though I know she's no angel, I still can't believe he hit her in the face that hard! I know, I know, he's THREE! I need to take a breath! Eventually he comes out and I tell him he needs to stay in his room until dinner time (it's about 4:45 at this point). He goes back to his room and promptly falls asleep.

Here're some of my theories. He was way too tired, even though he'd given up naps over the summer (I work for a school and the kids sleep in later during the summer)...this last Thursday was his last day at daycare and he has some anxiety about that--as much as he is able to understand that concept anyway--he also started attending a new preschool program yesterday, and I'm SURE that created some anxiety. And then there's just plain ole sibling rivalry, and he has good reason to feel jealous of her--she's had some medical issues that have had both DH's family and my family oohing and ah-ing all over her for more than a year and I'm sure it hurts him even though DH and I have tried to combat it--and he told me today, in a very ashamed voice that, "I just don't like Emma, Mama." I don't really expect him to, she took his place as baby after all, but at that same time, hitting others is simply unacceptable to me! Although I do think he saw that he'd crossed the line and was trying to fix it by asking her if she was okay. On the other hand, we went to a birthday party today, and he picked up a blown up ball and threw it at a little girl's head! And he has good aim! Luckily it didn't hurt her, and she didn't even really seem to notice, but I was completely mortified by his aggression!

Advice, suggestions, anything! welcome! Thanks.

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#2 of 5 Old 09-16-2002, 02:35 PM
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i wonder do you have ds stay and help make dd "better"? have him kiss her boo boo etc. it seems to work some of the time with my three. after the hurt one is doing ok ( and you have had time to cool down yrself) then may be the time to talk about what happened followed be some just two of you time. sending him away and holding and kissing her may be misunderstood as "i"m bad and they love her more", not true of course but in a three yr olds mind......
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#3 of 5 Old 09-16-2002, 04:55 PM
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Take a deep breath and repeat after me.

This isnormal.

I was appauled at the level of crap dd could dish out on little sister. I was also surprised at the level of annoyance LS could be to BS. Even at one I just couldn't always blame madeline for loosing it. Of course this has escalated despite our best efforts. #2 (who is 2 1/2) knows by now that if she can annoy #1 (6) untill she wallops her (and she is tough so she probably doesn't mind a quick thrashing if the payout is good enough) #2 will be in big trouble for a good while which is her ultimate goal. She has known this for a while. So now if it is clear that #2 was antagonizing #1 with the intent of sending her over the edge just so she would get into trouble neither one of them really gets in trouble. After all they both got the natrual consequences for thier behavior. Or if they have been playing this game too frequently they both get sent to seperate places for a while (then they whine because they don't get to play together. Go figure )

Your son sounds like he has been through a whole lot lately. And add being tired to the mix his fuse is probably really short right now. Prevention is key. Your dds right to physical saftey is obvious but your ds also needs to be free of annoying toddler behavior (and a 1 yo can be so annoying to a 3 year old as my dd reminded me almost hourly ).

Good luck.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#4 of 5 Old 09-16-2002, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Familyman, point taken and to be considered. I do feel that a lot of his aggression is jealousy related, and I'll definitely keep that thought in mind.

Lilyka, you always make me laugh. And yes, dd can certainly be pushing and purposely annoying to ds. About 5 months ago, ds was wailing, "Mama, Emma's touching me!" I looked over, and couldn't believe that Emma was standing there, index finger pointed, hovering about one inch away from him, broadly grinning! I have NO idea where she picked that up, and I thought, "I cannot believe this is already starting!"

I also feel better because several times today he asked her to sit on his lap, and asked me to help her up so that she could watch him while he showed her how to play a game.

Thanks again
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#5 of 5 Old 09-17-2002, 01:25 AM
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I haven't the pleasure of my dd & ds doing this yet but I would try not to leave the two of them alone together or at least not for very long (I know that's probably hard) and praise the good behaviour when they are getting along.

Also if it happens again try and talk to your ds after you've calmed down and taken care of dd and talk to ds about what happened. If he's alone in his room he might not be processing what happened. Help him think about it, he is probably scared too and needs to work through his emotions and know that he is still loved. You two (ds & you or dh)could also try and come up w/ some other ways for him to take out his frustrations besides hitting his sister. Have him think up some solutions of what he could have done. Hope this helps I'm sure I'll be posting about this soon enough.
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